Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Virginia 1619Slavery and Freedom in the Making of English America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Musselwhite, Peter C. Mancall, and James Horn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651798

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651798.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Private Plantation

Private Plantation

The Political Economy of Land in Early Virginia

(p.150) Private Plantation
Virginia 1619

Paul Musselwhite

University of North Carolina Press

In addition to the other momentous events of 1619, the year also marked the Virginia Company’s first widespread granting of private land to colonists. The private land grants have long been seen as a natural outgrowth of a peculiarly English colonial desire to own and exploit land in the Americas, and as a first step toward the construction of a Lockean liberal settler society. This essay challenges these assumptions by recovering the long and complex debate within the Virginia Company about the virtues and pitfalls of offering planters private land. It traces different schemes for establishing landownership and connects them to competing ideas about market regulation and political economy in contemporary England. The essay ultimately argues that the system of plantation estates that developed in the 1620s, operated by private planters with indentured laborers but retaining some civic functions, was a compromise between these two models. It represented a unique evolution of English thinking about landownership, commerce, and civic order, which can only be fully understood by acknowledging the complex negotiation over private land that wracked the Virginia Company in the late 1610s.

Keywords:   Private land, Plantation, Virginia, Commonwealth, Tobacco, Liberal settler society, Landownership, Virginia Company, Corporations, Commerce

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .